by Chris Bowers, Mon Sep 27, 2004 at 12:44:08 PM EDT
State % Partisan Index TN 51 RNC +4.4 KY 50 RNC +15.6 AL 47 RNC +15.4 MS 46 RNC +17.4 OK 42 RNC +22.4 IN 38 RNC +16.2 MO 36 RNC +3.9 VA 31 RNC +8.5 IA 30 RNC +0.2 OH 27 RNC +4.0 WA 26 DNC +5.1 MN 25 DNC +1.9 CO 24 RNC +8.9 MI 24 DNC +4.6 FL 23 RNC +0.5 PA 22 DNC +3.6 AZ 21 RNC +6.8 CA 17 DNC +11.3 MD 13 DNC +15.9 NY 9 DNC +24.5 NJ 8 DNC +15.3 CT 7 DNC +17.0 MA 6 DNC +26.8The correlation here could hardly be more obvious. Further, the bumps in the table are very much the result of a state having either a particularly high or low percentage of minorities. Overall, a state seems to be a swing when it is somewhere in the twenties. I do not think it will be long--in fact, it may have already happened--before Colorado and Arizona are the important swing states that Missouri and Tennessee once were. As Missouri and Tennessee start tuning into the 700 Club, they will start tuning out Democrats. By comparison, Colorado's numbers look like a swing state, as do Arizona's.
With Muslim voters now overwhelming opposing Bush (a sharp contrast from 2000), with "Secular Warriors" also swinging heavily against Bush, and with Jewish voters overwhelming opposed to Bush, two equally sized religious blocks have formed in this country. On the one hand, representing just under 20% of the voting public, are white, evangelical and born again Protestants that support Bush roughly three to one. On the other hand, there is a diverse group of the religious and the irreligious, connected only by the common thread that they do not consider themselves Christian. This group also makes up just under 20% of the voting population, but opposes Bush roughly three to one.
Considering this, the future electoral direction of the country will be based almost as much on the changing religious demographics of the nation as it will anything else. The Democratic base is overwhelmingly non-white and/or non-Christian. By contrast, The Republican base is overwhelmingly white and Protestant / Mormon. The difference between the two parties can be expressed as well using these religious and ethnic terms as it can by using any other metric.
I'm playing on dangerous ground here, so I'll just stop. Draw further conclusions on your own.